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Mississippi comes with a number of great public golf courses, with most of them offering a world class service that could easily be compared to any private club. Their rates are also quite variable, having those with high rates, such as Fallen Oak, and others with really cheap ones, such as The Refuge of Mallard Pointe.
Make sure which are your priorities and location, and start looking the different choices you have. Let’s take a look at our best 10 public courses in the Magnolia State!
Best Golf Courses in Mississippi
Perfection is the first word that can come into your mind when seeing this course, situated in the coastal city of Biloxi, at the Beau Rivage Casino. From its opening in 2006, this course has conquered the heart of every golfer who has ever played a round here. Great elevation changes throughout tbhe whole course, a great number and variety of trees, including magnolias, pines and oaks, alongside with ponds, creeks and wetlands make this track visually stunning while fun and challenging.
Tom Fazio designed this masterpiece, doing a fantastic job to protect the natural surroundings, building ten bridges and covered cart paths. Since the beginning you are advised that this course is no joke: the first hole is a par 5 with a dogleg to the left featuring some streams and a lake in its border. Other incredible holes are the 3rd, a par 3 where accuracy is essential; the 6th, a par 5 full of oaks and bunkers; the 15th, the longest hole of the course; and the spectacular 18th, a finishing par 4 with dramatic elevations changes and beautiful yet punishing bunkers, while looking at the clubhouse. (Golf Advisor, s.f.)
As part of the resort, you have to be a guest to be able to play this course. However, if you do, you will have access to multiple other amenities, such as casino, special events, restaurants, swimming pool, spa…
Rates, as you may imagine, are not cheap, with green fees around the $200 per round.
This course is owned and operated by the Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi, and was designed by Jerry Pate in the year 2006. Its name comes from its proximity to a 1500-acre natural preserve, which gives it an incredible location full of oaks, pines and the characteristic southern cypress swamps.
There are a lot of scenic holes in this terrific course. Our favourites, the 3rd, the 13th, the 14th and the 18th. The 3rd is a par 4 which plays an approach shot over a pond to an island green; the 13th, a par 3 to as large green well protected by water and bunkers; the 14th, a par 5 with water to its right and with a green surrounded by 6 bunkers; and the 18th, a par 4 finishing hole with multiple bunkering in their fairway and a pond to the left of the green, which makes it an absolute challenge.
Its clubhouse is an 8500 square foot classic country style house, from where you can overlook the 18th hole and the lake. It also counts with a pro shop and a restaurant called Sweetbay Restaurant.
Dancing Rabbit Golf Club at Pearl River Resort counts with two professional courses, The Oaks and The Azaleas, both of them designed by Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate. Located in the city of Philadelphia, The Azaleas came first, opening in 1997, with a longer but more forgiving course than its sister. (Top 100 Golf Courses Website, s.f.)
Built on ancestral Native American land, this course counts with the Wolf Creek coming into play in some holes, such as the 3rd, the 12th or the 17th; and its great quality as a whole makes it really difficult to name a signature hole. The 8th can be a good candidate: a tricky par 4 which includes a fairway surrounded by trees, wide at first glance but that keeps getting narrower, and some deep bunkers protecting the hole. There is a nice hole-by-hole series of videos in their website, really well-done and quite helpful to take a first look at the whole course.
Apart from the course, Dancing Rabbit counts with some other amenities, such as a great practice facility and a clubhouse with dining, the possibility of organizing corporate events, or even weddings.
Rates here are more affordable than Fallen Oak, with a peak-season maximum rate of $100 in the weekends. However, if playing at off-season or in the afternoons, the green fee decreases to around $60. (Dancing Rabbit website, s.f.)
Jack Nicklaus is the mastermind behind this great course, situated in the city of Saucier, and opened to the public in 1999. Bordering with the De Soto National Forest, this idyllic location gives the course a stunning landscape to look at throughout the whole round. This fact, combined with the high difficulty of the track, makes it quite an experience to play a round here.
However, while being tough, it is enjoyable for players of all handicaps, as it counts with wide fairways, not very punishing bunkers and greens which normally have some room of error.
Check out the great finishing holes here, thanks to the Biloxi River: the 14th, a par 3 which plays through a chute of woods to finish on a green protected by the river.; the 16th, another great par 3 with the streams of the river on its left; the 17th, or the 18th, an uphill par 4 that plays with the beautiful clubhouse as backdrop.
Speaking about the clubhouse, how great it is! Its facilities include some spectacular architecture, great locker room facilities and fantastic views of the course. (Tucker, s.f.). All of it, for an affordable price that ranges between $50 and $80 depending on the season.
The second course of Dancing Rabbit takes the 5th place of the list. As its sister the Azaleas, the Oaks was also designed by Jerry Pate and Tom Fazio, and opened two years later, in 1999.
The Oaks differentiate itself from the Azaleas by its narrower fairways, but more forgiving if missing them. Other difference is the type of grass: while both of them have bentgrass, the Azaleas fairways were built with Bermuda grass, and the Oaks with Zoysia.
Some stunning holes here as well. Our pick will go to the 11th, a downhill par 3 over a pond to reach a green protected by a couple of bunkers. An absolute fun and accurate tee shot!
Opening in the year 2000, Shell Landing was designed by Davis Love III, which made a fine job building a course surrounded by some wetlands and natural terrain. This course counts with some iconic holes, undulating greens and water coming into play – but not too much.
The par 5s here are astonishing: the best one is the 3rd, a hole with some water, great bunkering and some undulating fairways that make it fun and challenging. From the par 4s, our choice is the 6th: a tough hole with the tee box, fairway and green separated by marsh. Finally, from the par 3s, we stay with the scenic 11th: a dogleg to the right, a lake and a crazily sloped green that will be an absolute challenge! (Shell Landing Golf Website, s.f.)
Green fees here are affordable, and range around $60 and $80 per round. A must visit!
This new course opened in 2016, and has become already one of the top tracks in the whole state of Mississippi. Gil Hanse was the designer, who made sure to use a minimalistic design that melts perfectly with the natural surroundings of the Mississippi Black Prairie. And of course, it is meant to be walkable, to experience its wild feel to the maximum.
The course highlight comes in the 17th hole, where we can find a huge deep bunker called “George’s Bunker”, named after the property owner, George Bryan.
Even when it is still young, this course is going to have a lot to say in the future. We will wait and see!
The Tunica National stands on the Delta of the Mississippi River, making it a flat course with hard wind that add up some challenge to the mix. Designed in 2004 by Mark McCumber, the track has a good combination of wide fairways and bunkers, while water coming into play in several holes.
The 18th hole is a tough combination of these elements: with water on its left side, this par 4-hole features a 50-yard fairway bunker that can be really punishing, and another bunker protecting the green.
Apart from the course, Tunica offers a great practice facility, with a grass driving range, a chipping area and a putting green; a golf academy and the possibility of staying on different hotels from the resort.
The Refuge was opened in 1998, with the signature of the golf course architect Roy Case. It is located in Flowood, only 15 minutes from the city Jackson. Carved from 200 acres of wetlands, all the dirt was replaced by lakes, creeks, and a great course with rolling fairways and large and well-manicured greens.
This course is also known by the need of strategy more than strength. Some holes will make you think carefully, and there are cases in which you will need to play the hole some other time to get it right.
The signature may easily be the 18th, a majestic par 5 ending up facing the clubhouse, where you can go after you round to enjoy a fantastic lunch in the Refuge Grill.
This course is the cheapest of the list until now, with rates ranging from $30 to $50.
Mallard Pointe is located in the city of Sardis, and was designed by the renowned architect Bob Cupp, and opened in 1998.
This layout offers great vistas to the Sardis Lake and its natural surroundings. While the course conditions are not top-notch, it is acceptable and playable, all for a ridiculous price which oscillates between $30 and $50 depending on the season. A great option for those who do not want to spend a lot and at the same time enjoy a great golf round.
As we have seen, the public courses in Mississippi are numerous and offer unique advantages. We narrowed down our picks for best golf course in Mississippi down for you, but be sure to hit the comments if you think there should be another one on the list! Be sure to check each course against your preferences. Do not hesitate to make a call or write to any of the courses to ask for clarifications.
Have fun and let us know about your experience!